A wise man once said the future has already arrived, it’s just not yet widely distributed. Usually, that future-present is the most fun sometime between the “early adopter” and “mass consumption” phases. That’s where we’re at with the electric car. It’s like Facebook in 2007. All your internet friends were poking each other, but your grandma hadn’t joined yet so you could still post raunchy vids without worrying too much about her de-friending you IRL. The Nissan Leaf may not be too crass, but there’s something still risqué about it.

Pretty cheap for an electric vehicle, with an effective price of $18,000, the 2013 Leaf brought that future-present-perfect to car ownership. In 2012, the EV world was still an early-adopter exclusive, with Chevy’s $35,000 Volt leading sales in the USA. There are a lot of things that make driving electric in May 2014 feel unmistakably utopian, but it’s a utopia that has not yet arrived for all.